By The Associated Press
Troy Warren for CNT #EditorsPIcks
TABOR CITY, N.C. — A North Carolina fire marshal is crediting a 9-year-old girl with saving her family after their home was engulfed in flames sparked by a space heater.
Columbus County Fire Marshal Shannon Blackman said the girl was sleeping in her home in Tabor City on Sunday night and awakened to discover a space heater on fire in her bedroom, news outlets reported. She then woke up her younger sister and alerted the rest of the family to get out of the house.
Three of the four adults inside the home suffered second- and third-degree burns, officials said. The girls’ father, David Vela, is a firefighter with the Lake Waccamaw Fire Department. He was injured after reentering the burning home to rescue two dogs.
Lake Waccamaw Fire Chief Brandy Nance said Vela is in intensive care with third-degree burns on his back in a hospital in Augusta.
Blackman said the family lost everything in the fire.
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